MAY / JUNE 2017
Balancing Work and Parenting 
Two out of three young children live in a household where both parents work outside the home. Juggling child care and parenting responsibilities can be difficult, but the benefits outweigh the challenges when both mom and dad take an active role in the day-to-day care, feeding, discipline, playing and loving of their child .
  
Here are five tips to help you juggle the responsibilities of parenting when both mom and dad work outside the home.
Take Five_1
Volunteer. If your work schedule takes you away from family time at home, consider using your off hours or a few vacation hours to help out at your child's school, care program, church or other activity. Once you commit, be sure to follow through. Your child will be happy to see you no matter if it's at home, their school, or T-ball practice.
Take Five_2
Attend events and performances. Having your child SEE YOU is often more important than you seeing your child at a performance or event. If you can't attend, ask someone to shoot a video of their performance or activity and watch it later with your child. 
Take Five_3
Stay current on what's happening at their school or child care program. Get to know your child's teacher or care provider, even if you aren't the one who routinely drops them off or picks them up. Make a note of your child's activities on your work calendar as a reminder to ask them about their day. Knowing that it is Show and Share Day on Wednesday may not seem important to you, but it is a big deal for your child. 
Take Five_4
Network with other parents at work. It's likely that your co-workers are also trying to juggle work and parenting responsibilities. If your employer allows it, offer to cover a shift when your co-worker wants to attend a program at their child's school. In return, have them cover for you when your child has an activity that you want to attend. 
Take Five_5
Show your child where you work. Drive by your workplace while running weekend errands and point out where you work; have your child spend an afternoon with you at the office; do an after-hours tour of your workplace; or play plumber, nurse or builder during dramatic play time at home. Helping children understand where you are and what you are doing when you aren't with them will help them feel more connected to you.
Q.  I don't really have the extra time to help at my child's school. Can't the other parents help with classroom activities ?
 
A. Yes they can, but think about what you're missing. Everyone is busy, but setting aside time to be at your child's performance or helping with a field trip shows your child that you value what they do Your participation helps you and your child bond and shows them that serving and helping others is an important quality. It's also a great opportunity to meet their friends and observe their class in action.
 
Do you have a question or a topic you'd like us to explore? Contact Parent Services at PSstaff@ndchildcare.org or call 800-997-8515

More Resources to Explore
Visit the Child Care Aware┬«  website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to learn more ways to help children do problem solving and gain confidence.

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